The last time Lehigh and Seton Hall University men’s soccer teams faced off, the Pirates pulled a 4-3 victory in overtime.
Led by junior forward Doyle Tuvesson, Lehigh avenged it’s defeat from last season with a 3-1 victory over the Pirates on Tuesday night at Ulrich Sports Complex. With the victory, Lehigh (4-2-0) extended its winning streak to three before entering Patriot League play.
Tuvesson has lead the Mountain Hawks in assists the past two seasons. His running mate Mark Forrest, a junior forward, has been the team leader in goals scored. Together, they’ve fueled a Lehigh offense that’s scored 8 goals in its last three games.
“We have a great relationship on and off the field,” Tuvesson said. “We know each other’s tendencies.”
Just six minutes into the game, a Forrest cross deflected in the box to junior midfielder Oscar Greene who then missed his shot just high above the crossbar. Greene would make his next shot count. He tapped in a rebound off of the opposing goalkeeper to put Lehigh up 1-0 in the 11th minute of the game. Lehigh coach Dean Koski has made it a point to have his midfielders charge the box for second chance rebounds created from his forwards’ aggressive play.
Greene’s goal allowed for those forwards to push the pace on the Seton Hall defense. Later in the first half, Tuvesson converted on a breakaway opportunity on a lead pass from Forrest and put Lehigh up 2-0 on Seton Hall.
“In the past few games we’ve really been focused on scoring first,” Tuvesson said. “In the first few games we struggled to convert our chances, so getting that first goal from Oscar (Greene) really opened it up for me and Mark (Forrest) to create.”
Seton Hall and its star midfielder Andres Arcila were stifled by their counterparts for most of the game. Lehigh’s midfielders were responsible for that, led by senior David Zipkin. He was tasked with guarding Arcila, the Pirates leader in goals (4) and assists (3).
Greene credited his teammates for the defensive effort on Seton Hall’s key player.
“(Zipkin) did a really good job shutting him down,” Greene said. “Our outside guys did really well to tuck in and crowd him out.”
Seton Hall would not be denied for 90 minutes. The Pirates found the back of the net on a header from Gabriel Viola in the 67th minute. He put away a cross by Noah Teperow to cut the Lehigh lead down to one.
Just eight minutes later, Lehigh would ice the game when sophomore Tommy Dohko tallied his first goal in of the season on a assist from Tuvesson to go up 3-1 in the 75th minute. Some late attempts by Seton Hall were denied by a Mountain Hawk defense that steadily kept them in check all night.
Lehigh will be riding its three-game win streak into Saturday’s home match against a disciplined Patriot League opponent in Army. The Black Knights (5-2) were nationally ranked earlier this season.
“Once you get into Patriot League play, everybody plays a little bit more tight defensively,” Koski said. “I think you have to go in there focused on one goal at a time. I think the most important thing is that we are sound defensively.”
Koski knows his offense will be challenged, but he has confidence in his experienced unit to play well in Saturday’s matchup.